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The two Koh Yao Islands (Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yai Noi) hold a very special place in the hearts of travellers and locals alike. This is because it isn’t just their scenery and ocean that are beautiful - they also have a calm atmosphere that makes you fall in love with them. The magical thing is that even though these two islands feel like no other place nearby, you can be there with just a short boat ride from full-fledged tourists areas like Phuket and Krabi. Hidden right there among the snazzy party beaches, the busy towering limestone cliffs on Phanga Bay, the crowded attractions of Thailand’s famous south, are two small places that charm you into enjoying your holiday to the fullest. For many, organising some Koh Yao Island accommodation will be the thing you do.
Yai means big in Thai, noi means small, and yao means long. So, basically these are the big and small long islands. Look at a map and you’ll understand why. Some say Koh Yao Noi is a little bit more beautiful, but the dreamy lifestyle you have here will be the same.
The best way to see the sights is to rent a scooter. Try to find some outside the Koh Yao hotels, which charge a lot more than local shops. After that, you’re off, putting down long stretches of narrow countryside roads with only forest on each side, a lone and simple food stand with smiling cooks occasionally appearing on the side of the road before you reach small towns where the pace of life is refreshingly relaxed. Both islands are mostly Muslim with tight communities. The locals are very welcoming, but remember to respect their customs. Try not to show public affection and also cover up when you’re not on the beach.
Speaking of beaches, drive around the coastlines of either island and you’ll find your own little piece of paradise. There may be more rocks in the water here, and the water may not be as blue as Phuket, but nothing beats having an entire beach to yourself and relaxing under the shade of trees hanging from the forest over the sand. You’ll look out across the sea at low clouds drifting swiftly over other distant islands and think “who needs those perfect beaches when you can have this?”
Bang Rong Pier is where most people catch a small ferry boat from Phuket to either island, while from Krabi it’s Ao Nang or Thalen Pier. They usually stop at one island then the other. Most Koh Yao Islands hotels will pick up guests right when they arrive at the piers, but if they don’t, you can take the opportunity to find a taxi who’ll take you to rent a cheap scooter. It’s so easy enjoying holidaying here, after booking from our Koh Yao Island hotels and picking your flights to Thailand, you just go with the flow!
Hotels in Krabi start at AU$20 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.